Heerenveen sporting director Gerry Hamstra has admitted that a deal to bring Everton veteran Maarten Stekelenburg to the club this summer would be ‘fantastic’ but also suggested it might not be financially viable.
The Dutchman, who played in the 2010 World Cup final for the Oranje, was snapped up by Ronald Koeman in 2016 having previously worked with the 6ft 6ins stopper at Ajax and Southampton.
He has since been a loyal servant for Everton, acting largely as back-up for Joel Robles and then Jordan Pickford.
It was something of a surprise when Everton handed the 37-year-old a new deal last summer, especially after the signing of Jonas Lossl. But this summer, the experienced custodian is on his way out of Goodison Park. As reported by the Liverpool Echo, the Dutchman will be allowed to leave with Everton ready to give Lossl and youngster Joao Virginia a chance to battle Pickford for the number one spot.
It has seen him linked with a move back to his homeland, with Heerenveen one potential destination.
“Whether Maarten Stekelenburg is feasible for Heerenveen? Yes, that is difficult. The budgets are under pressure, it is that simple.
“When such opportunities come along, that would of course be fantastic, but you also have to go to the real looking at the budget. In principle he is out of our league.”
Stekelenburg has not played in Holland since leaving Ajax for Roma in 2011. The 58-cap international will no doubt have plenty of suitors but may need to adjust his current Premier League wages to find a new club in these troubled times.
Hopefully, he does, as he has been a trusted member of the Everton squad for four years and deserves a final hurrah as a first-choice goalkeeper elsewhere.